On Receiving Guidance from Spirit: Reflections on Essay 1 “This Is Not a Selfish Gift” from A Course in Miracles (CE)


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This week, I started reading the Complete and Annotated Edition of A Course in Miracles  that was recently published by the Circle of Atonement. This edition is published based on the original notes of Helen Schucman. It includes important additional material that was not included in the official edition of the Course.

The first essay at the back of the book called “This Is Not A Selfish Gift” deeply touched my heart. It contains the notes that Helen recorded immediately before she started receiving the Course. First, Helen’s impressive ability to establish communication with her Inner Voice seemed so remarkable to me. Obviously, it didn’t just start happening to her when she heard, “This is a Course in Miracles. Please, take notes.” It seems that she has been in communication with the Voice that she called Christ for a very long time. She could even distinguish changes in the tone of the answers. Even before she started recording the Course, she was receiving very specific guidance on what to do and how to see various situations in her life.

Before reading this essay, I knew that Helen had visions throughout her life, which is indicative of her psychic abilities. But it was very revealing to me that she communicated with the same Voice before the Course. For example, she writes in her notes, “I was really quite depressed this AM, which is now very unusual, but He says “Be of good cheer – I have overcome the world” [John 16:33]. Helen’s ability to maintain an effortless dialogue with the Voice suggests that she was far from beginner at that point. 

Share Your Gifts with Others

The main theme of the essay is that “this is not a selfish gift”. She receives clear instructions that she can and should ask for guidance for others, and especially for Bill. This extraordinary, as many would say, gift of hers was given to her to share with everyone who needed it, and not to keep it to herself, which Helen was initially tempted to do.

'Every one of us has a unique gift to share with the world. 'This is not a selfish gift.'Click To Tweet

One person is good at painting, another at driving trucks, and Helen’s specialty was communication with the Divine. Everyone’s gift is equally necessary for the benefit of the whole.

4 Practical Recommendations of Receiving Guidance

In this essay, Helen was given specific instructions about receiving guidance in meditation. The explanations that she received were prompted by a request from Bill to ask Jesus for help with his difficulty with hearing guidance. I’m paraphrasing them below. These 4 recommendations can be helpful to anyone, who is interested in improving or deepening their connection with Jesus or the Holy Spirit:

  1. Ask with confidence that you will hear the answer. In fact, it is your right to receive guidance.
  2. Don’t disconnect too quickly. Listen for a while, and then ask if there is anything else, or it is time to stop.
  3. Learn concentration by meditating on a simple phrase, like “Here I Am, Lord.”Here I Am, Lord
  4. It is okay to ask for and receive guidance from a friend, who has access to clear communication with the Spirit. At the same time, you shouldn’t put the person who is receiving a message for you on a pedestal. It is simply a function that he or she fulfills in the world, and this function is equally valuable as your own or anyone else’s.

Summary of My Takeaways

As I said before, the Cameo Essay “This Is Not A Selfish Gift” deeply touched my heart and was helpful for me on several levels.

  1. As someone who is receiving information from the higher realms, it’s good to hear a confirmation that it’s not just given for me, and I’m supposed to share my gift with others in some form. I must admit, I have had the same temptation as Helen to keep it to myself. Had she made a different choice, we wouldn’t be reading one of the most important spiritual teachings that is available on the planet now – of course, I’m speaking about the Course.
  2. It is also helpful for me to have specific instructions to begin receiving the answers with confidence that they will come, and to ask if the stream of information is complete before stopping. This makes perfect sense to me from my own experience. Again, I did it myself so many times. I was impatient and gave the Holy Spirit a very short timeframe to work with. Then, the information could become cryptic and jumbled, simply because I didn’t allow enough time for a clear and complete message to come through.

To conclude, I am very grateful to Robert Perry and the Circle of Atonement for all the work that went into publishing the new edition. I have just started reading it, and it has already opened a new level of understanding for me. I’m also thankful for the Course Companions Facebook Group  that Emily Beddington has kindly created for the purpose of reading the new edition together. Everything is even more fun when done together! You can learn more about the group and get the reading schedule and other materials here. The group has just started reading the book on April 10th , so you can still join!

About the Author

life_purpose_coachingTanya Ince, Ph.D is an Intuitive Life Coach,  Ordained Ministerial Counselor,  Numerologist, TFT-Diagnostics facilitator, and trainer of Spiritual Technology methods of Zivorad Slavinski. Tanya helps her clients to achieve spiritual coherence and create the life they want from the inside out. On her blog, Tanya provides insights about personal development, practical spirituality, astrology, and numerology. Connect with Tanya on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @TanyaCoaching.

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